‹Shaping›: Elsbeth Böniger, Marius Lüscher, Laurent Schmid

The idea behind ‹Traffic Shaping› is a description using a data stream describing a telecommunication method. Sending IP-packages and other transfer units are being controlled according to calculated criteria. It is unidirectional, meaning that it is being sent without direction nor information from the receiver. Obviously, Shaping contains the word ‹Shape›. Art is always about shape. The Shaping exhibition is playing with the two meanings of this word. On one side there are small data packages, labelled art impulses, which are sent by the three artists, on the other side all three of them work with the shape, and therefore with ‹how› things have to look like.

Elsbeth Böniger is an artist with multilayer activity. An alchemistic artist, whose most recent works are complex large-sized landscape pictures. She paints in a controlled but seemingly hazard manner, thereby puzzling people. She composes lush material pictures constructed from a variety of building materials. Also she is a sculptor, who extends further the notion of ‹Ready-mades› in terms of an edited applications. Her refined objects of everyday life are universal design products, which are not recognised as such, for example surfboards or transport pallets.

The Bernese citizen Marius Lüscher is a self-taught painter. He had been working behind closed doors on an impressive oeuvre for 10 years. Following a short performance at the Christmas exhibition in Aarau, there was displayed for the public a larger group of his works. This was a first for him. The paintings originated as simple material essays, and then developed in two directions. One direction leans towards images, which attract attention immediately because of their courageous choice of colour. With a large paintbrush he thickly applies multiple layers oil colour. The wet paint flows down creating colour gradients and exciting compositions. The other directions of his paintings are pictures that approach abstraction and suggest ‹Science-Fiction› shapes. Acknowledging this, one is not astonished that Lüscher reveals his passion for these kinds of books. Among the smaller formats, a kind of helmet and robots can be found. Within the larger ones habitations and means of transport are shown.

Laurent Schmid recent works are highlighted with complex interactive installations. As one of the pioneers in multimedia art, early on he made use of the possibilities of computers technology. His works often superpose themselves in several layers; for instance in the form of computer processes that are projected on mural painting. He acquires fundamental themes through intense research. Hereby he associates worms, suddenly disappearing at the appearance of visitors (everything calculated by the computer in real time), with Paris-based ‹Sanspapiers› being always on guard. Most people only know his drawing oeuvre in the form of his manipulating and revising photographs. But he has been working with pencil and Chinese ink on empty sheets of paper for an extended period of time. In the exhibition his newest Chinese ink drawings can be seen, those are often deep, spiced with much wit and irony.

Bernhard Bischoff, August 2006